Beltone PA

How to Buy a Hearing Aid

How to Buy a Hearing Aid

Hearing aids are small electronic devices that help amplify sounds for those with mild to moderate hearing loss. While hearing loss commonly affects older adults, it can occur at any age. Learn tips and tricks for buying a hearing aid and choosing the right style.

Get a Hearing Test From a Specialist

One of the first steps to buying a hearing aid is to go to a professional hearing aid consultation and hearing test with an audiologist. Hearing tests can be performed at a hearing specialist’s office or, in some cases, even in your own home. During a hearing test, an audiologist will perform several screening tests to assess your hearing health.

These hearing assessments and tests help gauge your severity of hearing loss, which can help the audiologist determine what hearing aid you may most benefit from. The audiologist can provide in-depth information on hearing devices and potential issues causing hearing loss.

You can learn more about hearing aid costs and hearing aid financing during a hearing test. An audiologist can also answer any questions you may have about hearing aid styles, providing you with valuable information to make your decision based on what hearing aid you may need.

While hearing loss is possible for people of all ages, it is incredibly prevalent in the older population. Research has found approximately one in every three people between 65 and 74 have hearing loss and 50% of those over 75 have difficulty hearing.

Fortunately, hearing aids are incredibly effective and can improve hearing loss symptoms, providing the user with clear, crisp audio. While each hearing aid style is unique and has its own attributes, all hearing aid styles use similar components to improve hearing.

Discuss Options With a Hearing Specialist

If you have undergone a hearing test with an audiologist and need hearing aids, the next step is to discuss the hearing aid options and styles available. While all hearing aid styles use similar technology and components to improve hearing, there are many different styles.

One of the notable differences between hearing aids is their size and level of discreetness. Generally, larger hearing aids are more noticeable but often have longer battery life and may feature other unique components. Some of the most common hearing aid styles include:

  • In-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids: ITE hearing aids come in two styles — half-shell and full-shell. Half-shell ITE hearing aids fill the lower part of the ear. Full-shell hearing aids fill a large portion of the bowl-shaped area of the outer ear. ITE often features a larger battery life, meaning they don’t need charging as frequently.
  • Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids: A BTE hearing aid hooks on the top of and rests behind the ear. BTE hearing aids are one of the largest types of hearing aids but are generally more capable of sound amplification than other styles. Certain BTE models are available with rechargeable batteries.
  • Completely-in-the-canal (CIC) hearing aids: CIC hearing aids are custom-molded to fit comfortably within the ear canal, helping improve mild to moderate hearing impairment. CIC hearing aids are one of the most discreet hearing aids and are barely noticeable or visible.
  • Invisible-in-the-canal (IIC) hearing aids: IIC hearing aids are custom-fitted to fit within your ear and are among the most discreet and inconspicuous hearing aids available. Because IIC hearing aids are so small, they typically don’t feature memory or volume controls.
  • In-the-canal (ITC) hearing aids: IIT hearing aids are fitted to rest partially within the ear canal. While ITC is not the smallest hearing aid, it is often more discreet than certain larger styles. It is important to note any hearing aid style may be prone to clogging because of earwax.
  • Receiver-in-the-ear (RITE) hearing aids: RITE hearing aids are similar to BTE hearing aids with the receiver or speaker resting within the canal. RITE hearing aids feature a small wire connecting the portion behind the ear to the receiver or speaker.

Where to Get Hearing Aids

Where to Get Hearing Aids

While you can purchase hearing aids online or at a local drug store, it is extremely beneficial to have hearing aids custom fitted by a professional. A physician or audiologist can help you understand your hearing loss and which hearing aid style may be right for your unique needs. Some of the benefits of visiting an audiologist include:

  • Comprehensive hearing tests: One of the most important aspects of getting high-quality hearing aids is to undergo a complete hearing test. Understanding the level of hearing loss you are experiencing is essential to choosing the right hearing aids for your needs.
  • Custom-molded hearing aids: Custom-molded hearing aids are designed to perfectly fit the unique shape of your ear and ear canal for the perfect size and increased comfort. A snug hearing aid is much less likely to shift or fall out for increased reliability.
  • Hearing aid financing: When you see a professional audiologist, you also can take advantage of hearing aid financing. While competitive pricing is important when choosing a hearing aid, you should not decide based only on price. You want to ensure you are getting a high-quality device designed for your unique needs and level of hearing loss.
  • Hearing aid repair: Audiologists can also help you if you experience issues or complications with your hearing aids. If your hearing aids become damaged or broken, you can take your device to your audiologist for a quick, dependable repair, minimizing the amount of time without functional hearing aids.
  • Earwax buildup: Another benefit of seeing a professional is they can help correct any hearing aid complications or clogging due to earwax. Excess earwax buildup can also contribute to your hearing loss and may need removal from a professional to improve your auditory health.

Affording Hearing Aids

Hearing aids, like other devices, are an investment in your health that can improve your overall quality of life. While the price of a hearing aid depends on the style, hearing aids can cost someone a few thousand dollars. At first, this price may seem intimidating to many people.

Fortunately, you can take advantage of hearing aid financing, helping you make smaller, more affordable payments on your hearing aids. You can’t put a price on hearing and good health and you shouldn’t have to. Hearing aid financing can help you afford high-quality custom-molded hearing aids with affordable payments, allowing you to improve your hearing on a payment schedule you can manage.

Depending on your needs, you can choose from many flexible payment options, with payment plans of six months up to 60 months. Numerous programs and foundations are available to offer financial aid to those who need hearing aids but may not have a high income. Some of these programs and foundations include HEAR Now, Lions Affordable Hearing Aid Project, Sertoma and Audient.

Schedule Your Hearing Assessment

Schedule Your Hearing Assessment

Beltone is a leading provider of hearing assessments, hearing aids and hearing aid financing. We understand how important auditory health is for all of our customers. We strive to identify underlying causes of hearing loss, answer any related questions and fit our customers with custom-molded hearing aids.

Contact us online today to learn more about hearing aids and schedule your professional hearing test.